11 Facts About Giving That Will Impress Your Friends

 In General

As Winston Churchill Said: “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” If we subscribe to this proclamation, we might also remember that there are plenty of ways to give too; it doesn’t always have to come down to money – consider time, skills, ideas and recycling, for example. Although giving is an innate human behavioural trait for many, there are still some who don’t appreciate the benefits of the whole idea. So to aid you in the event that you are ever asked why you choose to give, I have compiled a list of interesting giving facts…

1. Giving Might Help Us Live Longer

Most of us wish to live long, happy lives and science is increasingly suggesting that one of the mainstays of achieving this is through the practice of giving. Stephen G. Post is a Professor and Director for the Centre for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University. Through The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love he has funded over 50 scientific studies and in his book Why Good Things Happen to Good People: How to Live a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life by the Simple Act of Giving he powerfully lays down the case for increased health benefits through simple acts of benevolence.


2. Giving Will Make You Beautiful

When you give, you can’t help but smile on the inside and out. Smiles are beautiful so keep giving, beam away and be beautiful!


3. Giving Occurs In Outer Space

In April 2016 British Astronaut Tim Peake did some significant giving for The Princes Trust when he participated in the London Marathon from the International Space Station. He completed the 26.2 miles (42.2km) on a specially adapted treadmill and his efforts were adjudicated by an official Guinness World Records arbitrator watching live video. Although he could not observe the sights and sounds of old London Town from street level, Tim did circle the earth about two and half times at an altitude of 250 miles (400km) high. He surpassed the previous such space-marathon by 49 minutes, completing the challenge and crossing the finish line after three hours, 35 minutes and 21 seconds. An out of world record and a very special way to give.


4. Giving Has Been Prevalent In Australia For Over Two Centuries

Australia’s oldest charity, The Benevolent Society was founded in 1813, just 25 years after Sydney had become a British settlement. It was originally created to assist ex-convicts and the destitute, though it also established The Royal Hospital for Women in Paddington, which operated for almost a century. A marvelous achievement for such a young nation and proof positive that giving is a truly timeless act in our Country.


5. Australian Charitable Giving Continues To Increase

In yet more evidence of the popularity of giving across Australia, new research by National Australia Bank, captured in their Charitable Giving Index report, paints a picture of a country that is increasingly realising the benefits which can be reaped from giving. In the last 12 month period to February (2016) a 6.5% increase in charitable donations has been observed and this is a trend that is set to continue as more and more individuals and organisations climb aboard the philanthropic movement.


6. Giving Is Love

A 2014 book by two Notre Dame social scientists called The Paradox of Generosity: Giving We Receive, Grasping We Lose concludes with this simple observation: “People often say that we increase the love we have by giving it away.” In this, they write, “generosity is like love.”


7. Social Union And Peace Is Promoted Through Giving

When you are the subject of recognition for your efforts or your circumstances because you have received something, you are more likely in turn to adopt a mindset of giving. By partaking in this practice, we forge strong, positive unions with the folks around us together. These folks in turn are likely to want to do good too and start giving because they have been left in a positive place. In this way, we lay the foundations for lasting peace in our communities and societies through a symbiotic process of giving.


8. Virtual Giving Could Be The Way of The Future

Along with our own digital platform, Good360, which offers a unique way for product donors to reach out to Not for Profit Organisations, there are online services that focus on more traditional ways of giving. These include online fundraising and volunteering websites. However, there is also a means of offering your digital skills for free in a virtual environment at The Skills for Change website, Sparked. In the future, we may no longer need to leave our homes at all to give, but I suspect the satisfaction of feeling the gratitude of a real world recipient will always be most satisfying.


9. Giving is Addictive

Giving, whether it be your money, time, gifts or just lending an ear to a friend or somebody in need soon becomes the modus operandi for many. There is a sort of addiction to be found in such gestures; doing good feels good and we tend to want more of what makes us feel this way. This feedback mechanism creates a win-win environment and #circleofgood, is one of the guiding philosophies of Good360 Australia.


10. Empowering People To Give Reaps Benefits For Teams And Organisations

According to research conducted by Dr. Elizabeth Dunn, Associate Professor of Psychology at The University of British Colombia, being generous with your money allows one to appreciate the little things in life more effectively. It also brings significant benefits to teams and organisations and Karma Currency is one example of an organisation that facilitates the empowerment of employees through the act of giving.


11. It Is Thought That We Are Neurologically Programmed For Giving

Jordan H Grafman, PhD, is Professor in Physical Medicine and RehabilitationNeurology  and Director of Brain Injury Research at Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Chicago. Along with his peers, he has been investigating and seeking to pinpoint the exact areas of the brain which give rise to altruistic behaviour. In the mid-2000’s using techniques like fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) he discovered that the areas of the brain which light up when we choose to give (money to charity) are the same regions which control yearnings for food and sex. Perhaps this goes some way to explaining, from a medical standpoint, why giving feels so good.

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